Swedish incoming government announces future plans
Sweden will soon get a new government. The incoming coalition announced their plans for the future on a press conference on Friday. The plans include stricter migration policies and a keeping a closer eye on schools with a Muslim profile.
The coalition agreement, named the Tidö Agreement after the castle in which it was discussed, was presented on Friday by the conservative Moderate Union Party, Christian Democrats, Liberals and the right-wing Sweden Democrats.
At the press conference, there was no talk about the denominational free schools, which the Liberals went to the election to ban. But the school form is mentioned in the Tidö Agreement. This reports the Swedish daily Dagen. The agreement states that schools with a confessional orientation must be watched more closely and a specific religion is also singled out in the context.
"There is a big problem with extremism and Islamism among schools with a Muslim profile", begins the paragraph, which continues with the School Inspectorate being given a greater mandate to find inaccuracies, for example via unannounced visits.
Furthermore, the parties agreed to reduce immigration. Among other things the number of quota refugees should be reduced from roughly 6,000 to 900. There are also proposals to introduce a transit centre, i.e. a place where asylum seekers must be during the ongoing process.
The agreement also mentions legal certainty for converts and LGBTQ people, with a promise that a review will be done to make the assessments safer.
The Christian Democrats' party leader Ebba Busch gets a ministerial position. However, she had to do concessions to her humanitarian aid objectives. In her election campaign, Busch promised to fight for the 1 per cent rule. Earlier, 1 per cent of the Swedish gross national income was reserved for humanitarian aid. That number is now deleted. Instead, a certain amount will now be reserved for aid. "We are removing the "fixation" on this 1 percent. The figure should not be the most important thing", incoming Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said.
Other plans from the incoming government include the construction of new nuclear reactors to meet rising energy demand. In recent years, six of Sweden's 12 nuclear reactors were just shut down. The country is struggling to find sufficient alternative energy sources.
The right-wing bloc also wants to cut taxes and crack down on crime, among other things.
The right-wing bloc of four parties won the parliamentary elections over a month ago after a neck-and-neck race. They secured 176 of the 349 seats. Sweden has had governments led by the Social Democrats for the past eight years. The arrival of a right-wing government is seen as a landslide in the political landscape.
Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderate Union Party, was tasked with forming a new government after the elections. This happened because even though more votes had gone to the Sweden Democrats, the other parties did not grant them the premiership. The coalition partners will work closely with the Sweden Democrats, Kristersson reported Friday.
This is the first time that the nationalist party will directly influence Swedish government policy. Kristersson needs support from the party to be elected in parliament as the new prime minister and successor to Magdalena Andersson.
The Swedish Christian daily Dagen reports that the new prime minister Kristersson surrounds himself with several outspoken Christians, both in politics and in his free time. His wife will be ordained as a priest in the Church of Sweden in the near future. Ulf Kristersson himself has told during the election campaign how his wife is practicing baptism at home with the help of various utensils taken from the kitchen. When Kristersson was interviewed earlier this year, he sounded like an echo of his wife when he said that the Church of Sweden should not get involved in politics too much, but rather focus more on its basic church mission.
Furthermore, there are indications that Elisabeth Svantesson, also a Moderate, will become the next finance minister. She is also an openly professing Christian. Another politician who is a key player for Ulf Kristersson to become prime minister is Christian Democratic leader Ebba Busch. She, too, is open about her Christian faith and, just like Elisabeth Svantesson, she has made a journey from the Free Church to the Church of Sweden.
Although he is now a member of the church, Ulf Kristersson himself said that his view of God is not completely crystal clear. As a politician, Ulf Kristersson has in any case highlighted the important importance of Christianity for Sweden, and the Moderates have taken a similar position in their latest program of ideas.
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